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USCIS Changes Form N-648 for Naturalization Candidates Seeking Medical Disability Exceptions

Form N-648

On December 22, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the release of revised Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, for those seeking an exception from the English and civics requirements for naturalization because of disabilities. In January, the USCIS will begin hosting public information sessions to help medical professionals and other stakeholders understand the changes to Form N-648.

Immigration law requires that individuals applying for naturalization must exhibit proficiency of U.S. civics and the English language. Individuals, who have disabilities or impairments, may seek exceptions from either or both of these requirements. Applicants, who ask for such an exception, must file Form N-648.

Form N-648 was revised following input from USCIS subject-matter experts, customers, medical professionals, community-based organizations and immigration lawyers. The intentions of these revisions are to clarify the requirements and instructions as well as to standardize the process for applicants, medical professionals and USCIS officers. The revised form allows medical professionals to provide information that is necessary for USCIS so that immigration officials can better understand the medical professional's diagnosis and how it relates to the naturalization requirements.

What are the revisions to Form N-648?

  • The requirements for submitting Form N-648 are explained better for applicants and medical professionals. USCIS also revised the instructions so that they are clearer on how to complete the form.
  • Medical professionals can focus their evaluation specifically on their medical diagnosis and not worry about the applicant's daily activities, which may be irrelevant to the filing process.
  • Medical professionals can now complete the form electronically or on paper.
  • Applicants are no longer required to report any previous disability evaluations from other government agencies.
  • A new certification section has been included in the new, revised Form N-648 that interpreters for applicants or medical professionals are required to fill out.

What about older versions of the N-648 Form?

An important note: the USCIS will accept the previous version of the Form N-648 for 90 days, from Dec. 22, 2010 until March 21, 2011. But beginning March 22, 2011, USCIS will only accept the new, revised version of Form N-648, dated 9/24/2010.


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